Charles WALSH #24222

Indigenous Australian, Charles WALSH, Reserve Unit

Assigned to the Reserve Unit at Rifle Range Camp, Enoggera he was given ‘home leave’ in anticipation of embarking for overseas. Walsh applied to extend the usual 4 day pass so that he might travel by train to Wetherton, the nearest railway stop to Blairmore, to say farewell to his family and friends.

This young recruit however did not get the opportunity to join his brother Arthur, who was as already serving overseas, with the 4th Machine Gun Battalion. He remained with the Reserve Unit until 30 December 1918 when he was discharged, owing the cessation of the war.

Charles’s mother was later identified as Ettie Walsh, who is recorded as an Aboriginal woman in service, in 1908. Records also show that she had 3 children – Arthur, Charles and Bertha. Ettie who had been working on Torilla station in the St Lawrence district was removed to an Aboriginal Girls Home, ‘Cranbook Place’, West End, Brisbane, and is listed there in 1908 along with her daughter Bertha.

It is not clear where her other children were sent but it was recommended that they be sent to Deebing Creek or one of the orphanages.

One month prior to enlisting in 1917 his brother Arthur placed a notice in the local newspapers trying to make contact with Bertha, asking that she contact him at Nindooinbah station, he had not heard from her for nine years. It would be nice to think that they were reunited.

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Marg Powell & Des Crump

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